August 10, 2014

The strong horse.

"Fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates to join Islamic State, U.S. officials say."
U.S. officials attribute the Islamic State’s rapid emergence to factors both psychological and tactical. Its core group of fighters honed their skills against the armies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the United States when it occupied Iraq. The group has used raids and ransoms to stockpile weapons and cash. And its merciless reputation triggered rampant defections among Sunni members of Iraq’s security forces already disenchanted with the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
The post title refers to the famous bin Laden quote: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse." Looking for a link for that, I ran across this New Yorker piece making fun of Thomas Friedman for saying:
No one ever said it better than Osama bin Laden: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse."
The humorist, John Kenney, has 8 examples of "it" not being said "better," e.g.:
Let’s say you see a kitten. Fine, make it two kittens. Let’s say you see two kittens. One’s nimble and fast and cute. The other one is dead. My experience is that people—and by people I mean children—by nature go for the live kitten. They see strength in the live kitten. Also, who wants a dead kitten?
When people see a frightening news story and a silly humor piece, by nature, they will not laugh at the humor piece.

25 comments:

Original Mike said...

But, Osama bin Laden is dead.

paminwi said...

Osama bin Laden is dead AND core al-Qaeda is on the run!

St. George said...

"My experience of horses is that they never throw away a chance to go lame, and that in all respects they are well meaning and unreliable animals. I have also observed that if you refuse a high price for a favorite horse, he will go and lay down somewhere and die."
- Mark Twain

Paco Wové said...

"When people see a frightening news story and a silly humor piece, by nature, they will not laugh at the humor piece."

Especially when the humor piece contains no humor.
But they will always laugh at the Thomas Friedman piece.

Hagar said...

It's not funny McGee.

Obama has not only withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is reducing our military budgets for years ahead, cutting weapons systems, dismissing junior officers by the thousands, etc.

It is going to take a generation or more to rebuild our military after Obama, and in the meantime his successors in the White House will not have any meaningful threats to back up their talk with.

And the bad guys know this.

Rusty said...

Weakness invites things like this.

According to one of our resident communitarians we waste too much money on our armed forces and would be better off materially if we just had enough to defend our shores.

Hagar said...

The problem with that is that weakness abroad may well make it necessary that we defend our shores - literally, with hardware, and people getting hurt and killed.

Bob Boyd said...

So weren't we covertly arming and training these guys in Syria not so long ago?
Did we terminate that program or is it still ongoing as we bomb them in Iraq?

sinz52 said...

There's an old American saying that has the same theme:

Nothing succeeds like success.

Paul said...

Well old Bin Laden was just saying the obvious.

Now in the King James Bible..

"I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. (Ecclesiastes 9)
"
but.. As Damon Runyon said:

The race may not always be to the swift nor the victory to the strong,
but that's how you bet.

So Bin Laden was not saying anything profound.

Sebastian said...

They told us al-Qaeda is on the run.

They forgot to add that it is running toward ISIS.

David said...

It's a strong genocidal horse.

We again have a potential genocide on our hands.

Are we willing to try to stop it? Do we even have the means to stop it?

The Drill SGT said...

President Obama was careful to depict the strikes as part of a humanitarian mission to protect endangered Iraqis, including members of a Christian sect, encircled with scant supplies on a northern Iraq mountaintop.

That "christian sect" ?

Catholics, as in Chaldean Catholic Church, who are recognized by the Pope as Catholic since around 1600.

The Drill SGT said...

Khesahn0802?

Here's a link to the GPS chute story.

72 pallets.

1. the USAF cant keep that up unless the GPS are recycled. $300k a pallet.

2. the loads are trival. 50,000 people. They would need to be dropping 10 times as much.

The Pentagon said Thursday night that one C-17 and two C-130 cargo planes dropped 72 bundles of supplies near Sinjar. They included 5,300 gallons of water and 8,000 prepackaged meals, senior U.S. officials said.

MathMom said...

Is that the JV strong horse?

pm317 said...

Saddam Hussein, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Al Bashar.. maybe these ISIS MFers type do need those tyrants to keep them in check. Democracy does not work for all of them. Now, who got rid of Hussein, Mubarak, Gaddafi, and try to oust Al Bashar?

Hillary is now saying that the mistake they made was not to arm the rebels in their protests against Bashar early on.. wrong thing to say when the prevailing consensus is that it was a mistake to take out these dictators, in the first place.

Obama just wined and dined with the corrupt dictators of Africa.. There is nothing in Africa that Obama types want. So they invite those dictators to wine and dine with.



The Drill SGT said...

pin pricks won't do it. right now, ISIS looks like the guys carrying the fight to the Great Shaitan.

Strikes should be Alpha (all out effort) strikes from the GHW Bush and from Incirlik AFB, not 10 passes each with a 500lb smart bomb.

PB Reader said...

This is why Israel must crush Hamas. Make them surrender, unconditionally. They don't respect mercy.

Hagar said...

Drill Sgt.,

This is not going to happen, because this is not who Obama is.
Nor would it do any good unless he also cancelled all those red slips to the junior officers, fired John Kerry and Chuck Hagel and asked Condoleezza and Bob Gates to come back, requested large scale supplementary appropriations from Congress for a military build-up, and so on and so on.
He is right about one thing. Iraq and the Middle East is not a short term problem, but resolving is means going 180 degrees off the direction he is heading in.

pm317 said...

@PB Reader

Yes. And Egypt court just dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood party.

n.n said...

Go along to get along.

Michael K said...

"He is right about one thing. Iraq and the Middle East is not a short term problem, but resolving is means going 180 degrees off the direction he is heading in."

Obama said this ? I guess I missed it.

One good step would be to put our own house in order, including fracking, LPG terminals and nuclear power plants.

This is a long war and we are disarming.

Fritz said...

Defend our shores? Why bother when they can walk across the border in broad daylight.

Hagar said...

He said it (that it is a long term problem), but in a classroom lecture kind of way, i.e., it is not his problem.

Cedarford said...

"Hagar said...
The problem with that is that weakness abroad may well make it necessary that we defend our shores - literally, with hardware, and people getting hurt and killed."

That's one side of it. The other is that adventures abroad tend to mean an influx of "freedom-loving" people from lands that an LBJ or Bush is out to save with LBJ's "Our Boys" or more recently Bush's "Our Heroes Who Serve".

Luckily the Vietnamese have turned out better than Bush's "MS-13 Folks a' coming to do the jobs no American wants" or his "freedom lovers who are members of the Religion of Peace", like the Tsarnaevs....

In Bush's case, as with Obama, add a complete inattention to the Borders as well as to planeloads of "noble refugees" arriving on tourist visas out to disappear or get the delux "Refugee Package" of goodies like 10 years of checks, free food, free freedom-lover housing, free lawyers for the crimes they do, and of course free healthcare and free higher education...